Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Well they say that as you cross over into September, summer is over. Technically we have a few weeks and in the store we are holding on just a little bit longer.

Hope to see you soon


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Sick of looking at the beige and the chips and then INSPIRATION!

Hey everybody.

How are things?

Well it's official. August has sounded it's horn and September is ready to step up.

We spent the majority of the rest of our weekend ripping the nooks and crannies of our home apart and cleaning our home top to bottom.
Since we took possession of our shop back in February we have been surface tidy-ing our home and feeling clean on the outside but we both knew that we needed to spend some time and really clean our house.
Well 3 bags of garbage later, 4 boxes for the thrift store, a million loads of laundry getting slipcovers and sofas and bedding clean, a load of expired food out of the pantry, a few full canisters with the vacuum and a glorious adventure with a new steam mop. Our home feels like ours again. We are both neat people, I am very lucky and although exhausted we both feel a job well done.
I think it just made it worse because our basement feels like such a disaster still even though we are starting to progress there too, that our upstairs just needed to feel "cleaner".

Speaking of getting things done, I also finally crossed off another thing off my list at the shop.

For those who have visited you know that the building I am located in also houses the Fonthill animal hospital. With the way the signs and doors are situated the whole building generally looks the same. We are slowly adding our touches to give our part of the building its own identity.

I painted my front door after work one day last week.
I went through all my paint chips when deciding and was really intending originally to paint the door black. However black doesn't really scream different on this building so I chose what now?
That's right green. 
but I wanted the goldilocks of green
not too bright
not too dark
not too olive
not too grass

This is what I ended up with.

In a strike of inspiration when I couldn't come up with the right colour, I grabbed a book from our green book collection in our front hall and brought it to #sherwinwilliams for them to colour match. The guy working asked what I wanted to call it in case I needed more.

I give you "library book green"

It turned out to be the perfect shade of deep green. 
I want to paint everything in this colour and am having a brain wave for that.

Our door however now has a stance, a statement of what is inside that door.
It makes me happy and especially since I have been meaning to do it since May.

You can see in this photo from May that all the doors and trim looked the same.

A few shots inside the store as well for those that don't have instagram or Facebook.
We were super excited to get our first bit of K Barr Co apothecary items and the white products look great beside the black of the cupboard.

I probably could have just matched the green from their packaging. Such beautiful packaging it is too, besides smelling amazing.

I found these 2 pots a few weeks ago. 1 says flourish and 1 says grow. There are only 2 but I really like the wood grain texture.

I put some white and green snake plants in the drawer of our tool bench and filled in the gaps with golden moss. A little touch of autumn even though we aren't getting totally decked out for about 2 weeks as we await the arrival of all the fall goodies I have sourced out.

 Everyone's favourite golden moss is also back in stock in 4" pots this time. They are nice and young so will have a long time growing in these pots to freshen up homes.

Lots of goodies still in store (although I am excited to redo this shelf for sure) and last week I added some sunflowers in a few of the bottles and it brings some life to the displays.

And continuing with the lets get our building noticed for retail reason we also added a green flag to our sign. Now you can tell your friends to just look for the green flag.

Well have a great day everyone.

I am headed out to do lots of sewing and I am doing a little "teaching" as a friend is learning to paint some furniture. It should be a great fun and and productive day.


Friday, August 28, 2015

Before and After: the chairs everyone had at some point

It seems once I took on this project for a wonderful couple that these chairs were all the rage a "few" years ago. I have had at least 6 different people tell me that they had chairs exactly like this. It's continually interesting I suppose how furniture goes in phases. Everyone has something, it works for awhile and then we let it go.

Will our Ikea ektorp chairs be the same? or the grey wicker chairs that everyone had to own. I myself have both and see them as staples of the middle class living on a relatable budget but who knows maybe one day we'll be looking back at them thinking we were crazy.

These chairs came to me with the standard wood stain that was literally on everything in the 70's and 80's and the multi coloured fabric slipcovers on the cushions.

The chairs were a family set that the couple wanted to give a new life to suit their home and young family. 
After a house call and some back and forth we landed on darker very washable fabric for the cushion and white for the wood.

I love white painted furniture but when I see rungs on chairs it makes me cringe because it is always so much more work than you anticipate. One day I just may get myself a paint sprayer if I can con my usually easy going husband to make me an area to use it.

I sanded these chairs pretty heavily prior to starting anything as sometimes that topcoat from many years ago can be a serious pain with adhesion. I then spray primed them with white paint to get more coverage. When you are painting furniture like this and don't have a big sprayer. Spray can white primer can work just as well with the handle attachment. It goes on in nice light coats and won't start gunking up. When you hand paint on too many coats around rungs you start to see paint buildup and that doesn't lead to a quality finish.

I then painted them in my favourite trusty #generalfinishes milk paint in antique white. With subtle distressing and going back and forth with antiquing and liming wax to get just the right amount of distressing with the chairs still remaining white.

I removed the covers and made new box cushions with piping in a light grey tone in a poly canvas. Perfect for washing around little hands and fingers.

The first cushion I made last week on the crazy hot 34 degree 90% humidity day. Trevor came home with his partner from work at the end of the day (not for me) and he came in while I had the 2 sewing machines hammering away with fabric scraps everywhere and started making fun of my "sweat shop"

This is the second set of cushions I have had to redo in the last couple weeks and getting the original covers off the foam is always a feat. It takes me somewhere around 20 minutes and I am sweating like an idiot. Although there were zippers in them, they did not make these with removal in mind. Good grief.

I paired the chairs with my Fresh American pillow from Annie Selke. I am seriously debating carrying some of her stuff in the shop but getting it here isn't as easy as slicing bread.
We'll see.

Well have a great weekend my friends.

The weather has been a bit cooler here this week but it sounds like it's going to be summer heat again next week. Great to enjoy before the return of routine for many in a few short weeks.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Creative Mantra

I found this quote awhile ago and I have to admit I saved it and don't remember from where so I sorry if I swiped from you.
It can be the belief that things come easy to those creative people in your lives. There is a lot of the try again and their devil's advocate saying "well the problem is....."

Keep trying and success will come from your ideas and you will feel better at following it through.
Hit up that Pinterest board, that magazine article, that idea from your best girlfriend and make it yours and fabulous.

Have a fantastic weekend 


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Nothing like sunflowers and contemplating the new seasons

Well good rainy afternoon.
I am pa-pa pooped today and drowning my eyes in coffee. 

I spent the last few days fighting humidity to finish up some custom work and sewing my little fingers off. As I finish up more and more of my pillow stock I get more and more excited to rip my store and home apart for the next season. This happens to me every year at home. By the end of summer I am ready for a change. More so even than the Christmas season switch over or the quest for light and bright in the spring after a long winter. There is something about fall the just inspires me. I guess it's all the natural earthy colours that come with it. As I chat with you today we'll stroll through some photos of the shop over the last week. 

Our new smelling station for our #pfcandleco line. They have screw on lids which look fantastic but in the shop with so many choices, the lids inhibit people from really getting a good sniff of each of these beauties. 
I have turned into more of a candle monster since the shop opened and find myself hoarding more than usual in my giant candle cupboard. Yes 
I have one of those. So sue me. You've seen that giant wood cupboard in our living room, yup candle hoarding heaven. All my holders, votives, tealights, tapers, you name it, it lives in there. 
Trevor thinks it's a joke, my mom rolls her eyes (although she created that monster) and everyone else I shamelessly keep the cupboard closed from. It's neat inside just, WOW kind of when you open the door.

Speaking of wow, what says late summer like a sunflower. These beauties are brightening up my day when I come in every morning.

Trevor and I had to get our butts up to Toronto on Monday to pick up a huge pillow insert order. Usually we ship them but this was a huge order ( I made 30 covers just this week so far). The building was in a good area but it looked as Trevor said like it should be condemned. You can always tell when business' are purely for wholesale, appearances don't always matter. The older woman who runs the place was trying to sell me on other sizes while we were there. Really? I got 115 inserts, you think I need more lol.
Good grief. 

We also braved the world of ikea which quite frankly is just a nut house. Monday afternoon and there is no parking to be found. Our area is lucky with 3 ideas in a 2 hour distance but the next closest one in the USA is in Cincinnati so our "local" Ikea sees people from everywhere and it is busy no matter what day or time of the day. We knew what we needed (more candles lol tealights for the store and home because seriously who can beat the price and quality of those) and shelving brackets for a project I am working on to clean up a corner of the store.
Before moving on, don't those white pots above just look handmade and wonderful. Imagine them with a mossy plant or fern spilling over the ridges.

Our cart of vintage pots was starting to look so picked over after a heavy spring and summer season so it got a refresher. Like toned planters, vintage and new, tiny medium and large to make planting up your favourite plants a cinch.

I also attacked my counter. This counter gets so much attention and every time I put a new demijohn inside it sold. Awesome but I have to take the top out of the counter when that happens, so smaller items that fit through the back doors were in order. Kind of a pre autumn, gardening with bottle theme.

Happiness inside the cabinet. 

Well have a good day everyone


Friday, August 14, 2015

Junking, picking, sorting through the gifties and just too much talking.

So I'm sitting here today in between customers staring at the pile of paperwork that needs to get done and it's making my brain hurt just looking at it.

It's one of those things you know, like going to the gym. I want to do it, I know I will feel better when it's done but baby I am going to procrastinate the shit out of this thing until I start feeling guilty and then just do it. So I came to visit and be chatty with you all instead today.

The beginning of this week started with the new stuff for the store. I was gift showing it in the big city of Toronto. I meandered around for a good 6 hours and then gave in to my screaming headache and drove home. Gift shows can be a lot of inspiration overload, sensory overload and too much lighting. They need to do this I understand but my head can't handle it. There were a few super stupendous items I found for the shop and a lot of been there let Homesense have it kind of items.
I sniffed a few too many candles and that probably didn't help my head but I am a picky smell person and only want candles I love in the shop.
Your joy with products always comes out to the customers when you truly love something.
I probably could have just put VINTAGE-PILLOWS-CANDLES-GARDEN on the sign as that seems to be what I gravitate towards and my customers as well.

I kind of feel like the odd duck at these things as there are crowds of people in certain booths and you can just hear the cha-chining of sales as piles of retailers buy their loads of stock. Some even into next spring already and I, end up loving the little booths with just a few products.
One of my little wholesalers even remembered my name as I was standing in their booth without seeing my name tag. That just makes me happy when I can love their product and share it with you guys.

There's also the inevitable pushy rep who wants to sell you anything, give you terms, get it to your door and ends up driving ME right out the door.

That's how I get with vintage sellers as well.
Right after the gift show Monday I came home, hopped in the other car and we headed out on another antiquing picking road trip that my darling man and I have become so fond of.
We drove hours away from home and about the 8th or 9th booth we walked into we ran into a pushy seller we avoid at another market. He has a very distinctive voice and as soon as we heard him both of us just looked at each other and smirked.
Now this may sound mean, don't put your judgy pants on but we have had a lot of run in's with this nice man but terrible salesperson.
Trevor and I both believe that saying hi and/or good morning to a seller, being courteous, not insulting their product no matter how beat up goes a long way to making good sales and we all end up being happy with the result.

This particular man picks on me ( I can handle it) by what I wear that I live in Taw-ron-to and I'm just going to mark his items up and make all the money. Keep in mind he is making an assumption that I am a retailer. I could be a hoarder.
Nothing he has is priced (not uncommon) and when you ask about a price he says "Well they tell me that is worth 85.00 and I could sell it on eBay for more"
Who are THEY? mythical people.
So even though I am complaining about this man here today, we now just don't bother as it is frustrating and being chased around when we walk away is irritating.
but it does give us something to laugh about afterwards.

Moving onwards we found some great stuff for the shop for now, fall and even the Christmas season.

See. pretty good pile right?

Now before we get too far down the junking trail. I have a question for you all. I am a lover like HUGE size of Chipotle Mexican Grill. I could turn into a burrito. I've mentioned this before. I love them so much I would like to own a franchise lol.
We went to the one in Buffalo before getting going and where the heck are these stools from? Anyone know? They are metal base, carmel leather and just perfect.
Me want!!!!

One of my 2 personal picks from our junking was this massive flower frog. You saw part of my collection yesterday and this baby just got added. Compared to my foot, holy hanna.

I also got a real metal Wilton cake stand not pictured. They are so hard to find and I will admit at the moment I am not parting with it.

I audibly gasped walking up to this booth. Trevor thought I stubbed my toe or something. Look at the indigo. Non textile people may have just kept walking by but, if you follow blogs, pinterest, magazines you know what this is, how expensive it can be and how hard it is to come by. Pillows, why yes I think so.

The one that got away. Trevor and I have been hunting for a jeep grill in just the right colour for our basement. Of course since our flood we aren't really at the hanging stuff on the wall stage still in the replacing the walls stage but we can dream. We have found a few over the years but never the right colour. This one was perfect but the seller was NOT really ready to part with it. He had a very high price which converted into Canadian was very very high and he already had plans for it if it didn't sell.

Oh well, you can't win them all

So that's it for today everyone. I chatted you out. Imagine what a real conversation with me is like. Tiring lol.

Have a great weekend,


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Better late than never, collecting and living art

Good morning my friends.
If you're following along on social media you know that Trevor and I just did a whirlwind speed picking trip for the store. We got home last night and unpacked cleaned and repacked a bunch of the stuff to bring into the shop. I'll show some details and stories maybe tomorrow., maybe Monday.....

For today it's the better late than never. I didn't pull through so well with this whole blogging summer tour stuff this year and haven't shown the living room yet either. It's coming, before the pumpkins come out. The light was good the other day when I was home so I snapped some photos of the front hall.

The buddha fountain remains dismantled for the time being and the haworthia succulents are living it up by the door sidelight.
I made myself one of the stag horn ferns before taking the others to the shop. The green on the wall makes me happy. I take it down about every 5 days to water it and shoot it with some mist every other.

A portion of my flower flog collection is sitting out on the island. The rest is in the living room. I got a great huge addition to this collection on Tuesday and I'll show you in my next post.

I haven't done too many changes to our hallway crate shelves. Too many collections right? too bad I love them. The crates find themselves housing antique cameras and my weirdest collection, the urn-like table lighters. See that copper one in the back near the gold tray? It apparently came home with a collector from Havana Cuba. Neat!

Weird or not, I really think that if you love something you will find a place for it in your home. Collections generally have more oomph when they are grouped together and when you collect a lot of different things it makes it tricky to not look cluttery. To a minimalist your stuff will always be clutter, knick knacks or just obscene and there is always that person in the crowd that will ask how you have time for anything when you spend it all dusting.
Ignore the naysayers, keep it under control but display your treasured and hunted items proudly.

Enjoy your day everyone,